Instilling Quiet Times with Kids


It's been an interesting journey to figure out having quiet times with the Lord and being a mom at the same time.

Quiet Times have always been difficult for me, mostly because it requires quite a lot of self-control. Who's with me!? I think Cai was nearing almost 1 years old when I realized I think the last time I had a good real quiet time with the Lord was probably, before he was born!?

Not exactly a great thing. And while I'm sure that's not completely true, it was too far and in between to really remember.

I think I'm like a lot of Christian moms though. You are so exhausted waking up in the night the first year, figuring out how to take care of someone else and everything else. It's just hard to figure out your new balance.

You feel guilty that you haven't had that needed time, but somehow that doesn't motivate you to seek that time out. 

I'm not a morning person, at all. So waking up before my children doesn't happen. I'm just going to accept this at this point. Maybe that will evolve. I certainly have prayed it would... maybe when I stop staying up late blogging and sewing? (Okay, you're right... that's not gonna happen!)

So, I've decided that this needs to be something that I've got to have daily and why not do it WITH your kids, so they can have the advantage of learning as they grow up, too!?

Another mom encouraged me with her kid's summer schedule, that she starts their days with Quiet Times where everyone has some time with God.... I wondered if I could really accomplish this with a 2.5, almost 3 year old.

The answer is yes and it's been working out super well.

Not only do I feel refreshed, but I think it's a sweet time for Cai, as well!

So, here's how I do it, in hopes it encourages other mamas out there.

The first day, I started whispering. I got on our couch and got him to crawl up on my lap, announcing in a whisper that it was time for Quiet Time with God.

This completely grabbed his attention, because it was so different, with me whispering and being really excited that it was something new.

I then, start out our time by reading our devotional book together. A serious favorite of ours by Sally Lloyd Jones and Jago, "Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing"  Sometimes we read 1, sometimes 3. It's kind of up to Cai and if he wants to read more, which usually he does. Most days, we read the one about cars and filling the gas tanks up with soup, because it's funny and he likes to say, "Stop it!" like they do on this one particular page.

Then, we have a prayer time where I ask him if he wants to pray about anything. Short and sweet and thanking God kind of prayer.

Next, I have him choose his spot near enough to me, but where he wants, and I sometimes put on soft music. I explain that it's quiet time, our special time with God, and all he has to do is be quiet. He can color in his coloring book, do stickers, or just sit and listen to music, but for a little while, we are all going to be quiet.

That leads me to my next point, which I have found at this age of 2.5/3, he needs something to do. Right now, I have a Bible coloring book and some Christian stickers that say things like "Bless You" and have pictures of Lambs... super cheesy, but whatever.

The first day, he just had the coloring book and crayons. The 2nd day, I gave him stickers. The 3rd day, he got all 3. Another day, he got markers, a real treat. I tried to keep it somewhat interesting, but generally about like this where he gets to color in his coloring book, or look through his devotional or Bible. 

I know the mom that encouraged me lets her kids decorate their own journals, and as older kids they can write down things from their children's Bibles, draw in it, or copy verses of their choice.
While Cai is working on his own little "journal" coloring book, I have my own time to read my own women's devotional and Bible and pray some.

I truly think that when the Lord says that we are to teach our children as we walk along the way, this is what it looks like. Not only on the run doing errands, but just having some time each day or as frequently as we can where we dedicate it to the Lord.

With that said, I hope that mamas everywhere don't see something like this post and feel like it has to be legalistic or something to trudge through. This has become a sweet thing for us and that's what I prayed it would be, something we could all look forward to. I literally had zero expectations and have loved how it's worked out.

It's not perfect. It's not long. It's not free of interruptions, but it's time where I can focus my mind and Cai's mind on God and know that whatever the day brings, the Lord is working in and through us for His glory.  

Other ideas/things that help:
  • Cai is allowed to have his blankie with him. Sometimes he will just lay for a few minutes and suck his thumb and hug his blankie.... hey whatever works, buddy. 
  • Right after breakfast. Without being legalistic, but yet trying to somewhat make it a routine time does help to become consistent at it. 
  • Busy mornings where we have to leave early... it just doesn't happen. It's okay. Life is crazy sometimes. 
  • Play soft music in the background or Lecrae... again... whatever works for you. 
  • Let them "read" other children's books/Bibles, do coloring pages, or stickers, or other Christian quiet activites.
  • If they are getting restless, include them with what you are reading. Read some of your own Bible aloud, read your own devotional. Pray with them what's on your heart. 
  • Keep it short at young ages, be realistic. It doesn't have to be 30 minutes! 
  • As long as he's quiet, he can lay on the floor or roll around, whatever, just quiet. 

We end with another quick prayer and go about our day! Doing chores/mama exercising, whatever.

BTW... it was totally distracting to try to take photos during a quiet time one day, but I got some... and now you can see. LOL!

I'd love to hear your stories! How does this look in your family? 

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